Dedication of the Altar and Chapel at Annunciation

February 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Reflections

On February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, we welcomed Cardinal Timothy Dolan to Annunciation Motherhouse to celebrate the Mass of Dedication for our chapel and new altar. This beautiful celebration is replete with imagery of the Old Testament and of the eternal sacrifice of Christ in His self-offering to the Father. It repeatedly references Baptism, at which each of us becomes a living stone in the Church, the Body of Christ. The dedication of our altar for worship of the Lord of Life alone is a particular joy for us Sisters–it echos religious consecration and reflects our desire be totally consecrated for the Lord. Pope Benedict XVI so aptly expressed this to young religious and seminarians at World Youth Day in Sydney:

Dear young… religious, at each Mass, when the Lord’s Body and Blood are lifted up at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, lift up your own hearts and lives, through Christ, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, as a loving sacrifice to God our Father. In this way, you yourselves will become living altars, where Christ’s sacrificial love is made present as an inspiration and a source of spiritual nourishment to everyone you meet. By embracing the Lord’s call to follow Him in chastity, poverty, and obedienece, you have begun a journey of radical discipleship which will make you “signs of contardiction” (cf. Lk 2:34)
– Pope Benedict XVI, July 19, 2008 l Homily at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, Australia, to seminarians and young religious on the occasion of the Solemn Dedication of the Altar

The Chapel is dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, as this was a special and deep devotion of Cardinal O’Connor’s that he passed to us through his words, reflection, and prayer. We are so grateful to the generosity of each of our friends who helped this beautiful chapel become a reality. It is truly the center of our home, and as we gather there so often together to pray, to celebrate the Mass, to spend a few brief moments in conversation with Christ, it is at the very heart of our lives.

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